Showing posts tagged as "jellies experience"
A “Crown-ing” Achievement for “The Jellies Experience”
In a first for any aquarium worldwide, we added stunning crown jellies (Cephea cephea) to “The Jellies Experience” special exhibition on June 21.
These are unlike any jellies we’ve had previously, with beautiful, purple colors and an array of “spikes” emanating from the broad, four-inch, circular bell. The story behind the jellies is as fascinating as the species itself, and is the result of a two-year husbandry effort by Senior Aquarist Wyatt Patry.
“We’re in close contact with jellies aquarists all over the world through the internet,” says Wyatt. “We received the ‘polyps’ from Zoo Berlin, which got them from waters off Japan.” (Crown jellies are found in nearly all Indo-Pacific waters.)
Bubble Wrap Breakthrough
Though many institutions have tried, ours was the first to unlock the secret of raising crown jelly polyps to adulthood. The biggest challenge? Simulating the pelagic (open-ocean) environment to which the species is accustomed.
“You have to figure out how to keep them suspended,” says Wyatt. “They’ll stick to the sides of the display if you let them, and degrade. So we had to make a small exhibit space seem like the open ocean.”
A breakthrough came in the form of everyday bubble wrap. It turns out that crown jellies hate the stuff. So Wyatt used yards of it to line the various-size holding tanks used to grow the jellies from polyps to adulthood. The soft bubble wrap also keeps the jellies from hurting themselves when they happen to bump up against the walls.
Of course, it’s not possible to use unsightly bubble wrap in our exhibit spaces, so Wyatt painstakingly created water currents, called “gyres,” to help keep the delicate jellies in the middle of the display that you’ll see when you visit.
What’s for Lunch
The jellies are fed brine shrimp two times per day, and rotifers (zooplankton) throughout the day. Basically, they get to eat as much as they want. In addition to the ones on exhibit, there are eight, 1 ½-inch jellies behind the scenes currently, and hundreds more in various stages of development. Wyatt has no idea how large the jellies will grow on exhibit, but the husbandry team is prepared to move them to a larger display if necessary.
Will they be with us on long-term exhibit? “I’m confident we’ve got it down now,” says Wyatt. “It’s a great achievement for the Aquarium, and ’The Jellies Experience.’ We hope people get a chance to come see them!”
Have questions for our jellies aquarists? We’re organizing the first-ever live “Jelly Chat” Tuesday, June 26 at noon (PDT) on Facebook, or on Twitter at #jellychat. Aquarists Wyatt Patry and Tommy Knowles will take your questions and devote an hour just to jellies. We welcome your questions in advance (Spanish, too)!
We’re organizing the first-ever live Jelly Chat! Join us Tuesday, June 26 at noon (PDT) here on Facebook, or on Twitter at #jellychat. We’ll take your questions and devote an hour just to jellies. We welcome your questions in advance (Spanish, too)!
What’s your guess: is this a real jelly? Learn how our exhibits staff dreams up the displays you enjoy every time you visit, in our latest podcast!
Wondering how you’re going to make it to the weekend? We’ve got a solution: Mediterranean jellies!
Can this be real? We’ve added more beautiful flower hat jellies (Olindias formosa) to our new special exhibition, “The Jellies Experience.”
At our new special exhibition, “The Jellies Experience,” you can draw a digital jelly and launch it into a virtual ocean with creations made by others—then get a copy via e-mail! Check out one visitor’s creation!
Want to exercise your artistic skills? At “The Jellies Experience" you can draw a digital jelly and launch it into a virtual ocean with creations made by other visitors—then get a copy via e-mail! It’s turning out to be one of the most popular features of the new exhibit.
Did you know we’re always experimenting behind the scenes with new species of jellies for our special exhibition, “The Jellies Experience?” While you won’t see these Indonesian jellies (Chrysaora chinensis) on exhibit, you may sometime in the future!
Are they real, or not? Our new special exhibition, “The Jellies Experience,” features these stunning, illuminated acrylic models suspended from the ceiling.
Dunce cap jelly (Periphylla periphylla) Actual size: to 8 in. (20 cm) high
Sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri) Actual size: to 9 in. (22 cm) across
Polar jelly (Benthocodon hyalinus) Actual size: to 1.5 in. (4 cm) across
Hula skirt siphonophore (Physophora hydrostatica) Size: to 4.5 in. (12 cm) high
Lion’s mane jelly (chair) (Cyanea capillata) Actual size: to 6.5 ft. (2 m) across
Are you ready to groove to “The Jellies Experience?” Now open!